November 15, 2012 in City

In brief: Fire in Logan area building caused by electrical problem

From Staff And Wire Reports

The Tuesday fire in a Logan Neighborhood house converted into apartments was caused by an electrical problem, authorities say.

The blaze at 728 E. Mission Ave. was sparked by wiring in the second-floor wall, said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. Overheating in the wiring ignited the sawdust insulation in the century-old building, he said.

Fire damage was mostly in the home’s attic, but there was also damage to the second floor.

Scammers going door to door

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of Eastern Washington and North Idaho of yet another scam.

Some individuals are going door to door claiming to be collecting scrap metal for the Salvation Army, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The Salvation Army does not go door to door asking for donations. Residents should not give anything to anyone who comes uninvited to a home or business claiming to be from the Salvation Army.

Those targeted should try to get the person’s name, phone number or license plate information and call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

One swindler has been described as a woman in a white van.

Council OKs police reform deal

PORTLAND – The Portland City Council has approved a settlement with the Justice Department on police reforms that some of its members think the city may not be able to afford.

Federal investigators found in September that police engaged in a pattern of excessive force against people with mental illness.

The vote on the five-member council was unanimous Wednesday, the Oregonian reported.

It came two and a half weeks after Mayor Sam Adams and Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall publicly released the agreement calling for changes to Portland police use of force and stun gun policies, training and oversight.

Several community activists and attorneys have urged the council to slow down and complained that the agreement didn’t go far enough.

Civil rights attorney Tom Steenson said there is a “disconnect” between the way police Chief Michael Reese defines an “immediate threat” that can allow officers to use deadly force and how his police trainers interpret the same words.

Today the council is to consider Adams’ proposal to tax land-line phone service providers to help cover the cost of the reforms.

Adams said the initial talks with federal justice officials would have had the city paying much more than what he anticipates. He has estimated the cost at $3.5 million to $5.4 million a year.

Car kills woman inside office

RENTON, Wash. – An 80-year-old driver crashed her car into a building in Renton, killing a woman in an insurance office who was pinned inside.

Fire department medics tried to revive the woman, but she was declared dead at the scene.

Police spokeswoman Terri Vickers told KOMO-TV the Buick sedan slammed into the office just before 11 a.m. Wednesday. The driver was not hurt.

KIRO reported the woman who died was an employee of the Farmers Insurance office.

Man killed in fire identified

EVERETT – A man found dead after a three-alarm fire in Everett lived in the apartment where the fire started.

But fire department spokesman Rick Robinson said there was so much damage that it will be difficult to determine exactly how the fire started.

The Snohomish County medical examiner’s office said the death of 61-year-old Michael D. Beard was an accident. He died of smoke inhalation. His body was recovered Saturday.

The fire Thursday gutted the 118-year-old McCrossen Building near Comcast Arena. The property loss was estimated at about $1 million. The two-story building housed 13 apartments plus a flea market, pizza parlor and cabinet shop on the first floor.

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